Former Minister of Petroleum Resource Diezani Alison-Madueke allegedly banned from leaving the UK has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to compel the attorney-general of the federation to bring her back to Nigeria to defend corruption allegations pending against her.
Her lawyer said that she would lo defend herself in a raft of money laundering allegations of over N450 million levelled against her cronies.
Her name was only mentioned, though.
Her counsel Obinna Onya stated these in a case EFCC filed against the former minister’s involvement in sharing out $115 million to swing the 2015 general elections for former President Goodluck Jonathan..
Defending here are former minister of national planning, Abubakar Suleiman and Dele Belgore (SAN) allegedly to have received N450 million from Mrs. Alison-Madueke before the 2015 elections.
Onya argued that since his client’s name had been mentioned in the charge, it would be against her right to a fair hearing for the case to proceed without affording her the opportunity to defend herself.
“The statement made by the prosecution means that the applicant is going to be convicted without being given the opportunity to defend herself,” Mr. Onya told the court.
In the application, Onya prayed for an order “mandating the Attorney-General of the Federation, being the agent of the complainant, to facilitate the prompt appearance of the applicant in court on the next adjourned date, to take her plea and to defend the allegations made against her in counts 1, 2,3 and 4 of the charge, numbered FHC/L/35c/2017.”
Mr. Onya urged the judge to hear and determine the application before proceeding with the case on Tuesday.
EFCC’s counsel Rotimi Oyedepo, however, opposed him, saying the application was not ripe for hearing as he was yet to be served.
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Onya told the court that he attempted to serve Oyedepo on Tuesday morning at the court premises but that the prosecutor declined. Attempts to serve the application at the EFCC office on Friday also failed.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa said the court could not entertain the application for Mr. Alsion-Maduekwe to be brought back to Nigeria to defend herself until all the parties had been properly served.
The case was adjourned to October 4 for the continuation of trial.
Diezani is in the United Kingdom where she is undergoing therapy for cancer.
She also under investigation for money laundering there.